Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NHL Recap 11-10-09

Stars of the night
--Zdeno Chara and Derek Morris. Excellent shut-down defense, seven combined blocked shots (four by Morris) in Boston's blanking of Pittsburgh, 3-0.
--Mikko Koivu 1 goal, 2 assists in Minnesota's 5-2 win over Toronto.
--David Perron, hat trick, Brad Boyes four points (one goal) as St. Louis crushed Vancouver, 6-1. Was sort of a matter of time wasn't it, until the Blues' offense exploded?
--Dan Boyle, set up the tying goal late and got the game-winner with a minute remaining as the Sharks got past Nashville, 4-3.
--Jason Spezza's shootout goal gave Ottawa a 4-3 win over Edmonton.

Clean sheets
--Tim Thomas made 27 saves for Boston.
--Miikka Kiprusoff earned his first shutout by blanking Montreal on 25 saves, making Jarome Iginla's goal hold up in a 1-0 win.

Another one bites the dust
Injuries might not be excuses for poor performances, but at some point, they become a reason. The Penguins lost another member of their team Tuesday when Brooks Orpik appeared to injure his hip and left the game with 12 minutes left in the first period. He did not return. Pittsburgh played the rest of that game without nearly a third of the team that won the Stanley Cup, and each member is a key figure on the roster. None is a fourth-line scrub or depth defenseman. The game against Boston was the last of a four-game road trip that started on the west coach and was the second-straight game Pittsburgh played the majority of with five defensemen, and against the Bruins, one of those blue liners made his NHL debut.

Even the team president isn't immune. David Morehouse suffered a heart attack as the team was preparing to leave San Jose.

Having said that, no one is stepping up. Ruslan Fedotenko is useless without Evgeni Malkin, Bill Guerin couldn't hit the side of a barn and Jordan Staal is looking like the 21-year-old he is. And Sidney Crosby has been a non-factor. Some teams are getting by despite having a lot of injuries. Pittsburgh is not one of them.

Non-3 Stars Selection of the night
Joe Pavelski, one goal, one assist for San Jose. Third star was San Jose's Scott Nichol (beat out an icing and drew a penalty; won 8 of 12 faceoffs, minus-1, 3 SOG, 4 hits, no points); No. 2 was backup goalie Thomas Greiss (23 saves); and Boyle was the first star.

Quote of the night
"Being honest, it was a lot easier because we didn't have a lot of guys to focus on. They're the defending Stanley Cup champs, and when they're healthy they have a lot of firepower. It was a lot easier to focus on him, with a lot of the other guys out of their lineup."
Bruins coach Claude Julien, on defending Crosby

Marquee matchup
Wednesday, Nov. 11 (6 games)
Colorado (12-4-2) at Chicago (9-5-2), 8:30 p.m. ET.

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